VIII.The Painter and the Wood-carver
“With these words the Chan displayed the forged letter, and when he had read it, the wood-carver said unto himself, ‘Of a surety Gunga, the painter, has played me this trick; but I will try if I cannot overreach him.’
“Thus thinking, he inquired of the painter, ‘By what means can I reach the kingdom of the Tângâri?’
“To these words, the painter replied, ‘When thou hast prepared all thy tools and implements of trade, then place thyself upon a pile of fagots, and when thou hast sung songs of rejoicing and set light to the pile of fagots, thus wilt thou be able to reach the kingdom of the Tângâri.’ Thus spake he, and the seventh night from that time was appointed for the carver’s setting forth on his journey.
“When the wood-carver returned home unto his wife, he spake unto her these words:—‘The painter hath conceived wickedness in his mind against me; yet I shall try means to overreach him.’
“Accordingly he secretly contrived a subterranean passage, which reached from his own house into the middle of his field. Over the aperture in the field he placed a large stone, covered the stone with earth, and when the seventh night was come, the Chan said, ‘This night let the wood-carver draw nigh unto the Chan, my father.’ Thereupon, agreeably to the commands of the Chan, every one of the people brought out a handful of the fat of the Gunsa (a beast). A huge fire was kindled, and the wood-cutter, when he had sung the songs of rejoicing, escaped by the covered way he had made back to his own house.
“Meanwhile the painter was greatly rejoiced, and pointed upwards with his finger, and said, ‘There rideth the wood-carver up to heaven.’ All who had been present, too, betook themselves home, thinking in their hearts, ‘The wood-carver is dead, and gone up above to the Chan.’
“The wood-carver remained concealed at home a whole month, and allowed no man to set eyes upon him, but washed his head in milk every day, and kept himself always in the shade. After that he put on a garment of white silk, and wrote a letter, in which stood the following words:—
“‘This letter is addressed to my son Chamuk Sakiktschi.